Beer #72 - The Herbalist / Manuka Ale

Beer #72 - W/C 11 July 2016

BREWERY // Rebecca Stenbeck knows her herbs. As a naturopath and medical herbalist, she has long been interested in the millennia-spanning history of tonics made by women from medicinal herbs and other locally found produce. She started experimentally brewing with different herbs and plants four years ago. As the home brewers among us know- the road to delicious, well balanced beer when using unusual ingredients is rarely a smooth one. Fortunately for us, Rebecca found the perfect combination of barley, hops and herbs in two distinct recipes which were launched as The Herbalist's inaugural beers earlier this year. We have heard news of more exciting beer/herb mash-ups from Rebecca's test brewery and can't wait to see (and drink) what will be next. Click here to watch a short video about The Herbalist.

TASTING NOTES // Manuka Ale uses the same malts, hops and yeast as the Rosemary & Liquorice Ale we drank last week so you can judge exactly what difference the herbal additions make. For this beer The Herbalist added a combination of Fennel Seeds, Manuka Leaves, Burdock Root to the make for a smooth, refreshing and slightly spicy ale. The New Zealand native Manuka tree has been drunk since pre-European times by Maori for it's perceived medical qualities reducing fevers and treating urinary complaints. Manuka is also used for head colds, to ease stiff muscles, treat burns and to enhance sleep. Importantly it tastes good and Captain Cook's use of the leaves to make a 'tea-like drink' led to the plant also being known as Tea Tree. The anise flavour of the fennel seeds and sweetness of the burdock root compliment the tropical citrus and grapefruit notes from the NZ hops. It is certainly an unusual tasting beer but the additions are well balanced so not to make the result too bitter or 'extreme'.

BREWERY // The Herbalist
BEER // Manuka Ale
STYLE // Herbal Ale
ORIGIN // Auckland, New Zealand
ABV // 5.4%
HOPS // Motueka. Cascade
TEMPERATURE // Cool- 10-14C
FOOD MATCH // Grilled Shrimp. Burdock Kinpira. Fig Tart. Gouda
GLASS // IPA Glass, Tulip